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MASTERPIECE2020

Environmental History Essay

Please write an essay of about 1,000 words, answering ONE of the following questions. Please attempt to use evidence from ALL of your required readings, and cite your sources.

Use historical examples, from the readings. To increase your score, show you can craft your understanding of the readings into an essay with an introduction that has a thesis (what you want to prove) and that you can summarize the main arguments of the authors. Use topic sentences, that reflect your thesis and only one idea per paragraph. Make a conclusion that is powerful and reiterates the points you have already made.  Artful uses of the recomended readings will also likely raise your score.

a) A nineteenth-century American intellectual once observed that “the country hands a chair to the city.” In your view, which has been a more influential idea—that wilderness is a place to be valued, feared, or loved for its own sake, OR that it can and should be managed, controlled, and/or used principally for human use? Take a position, organize your essay according to themes, and use specific examples.

b) Although a nineteenth-century historian once famously connected American identity to the wilderness frontier, the idea that nature determines who we are was not entirely new. Explain the concept of environmental determinism and identify what you consider to be the most significant movements and/or ideas that might be labeled as such. In your view, what has been the strongest motivation for such ideas? Take a position and demonstrate your argument with specific examples.